After days of an escalating war of words, the JD (U) sought to mend fences with ally BJP, as party president Sharad Yadav went on record saying “other party leaders should either consult me or Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar before going public”.
The context: party leader Shivanand Tiwari, considered close to Nitish Kumar, had a day earlier defended finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on inflation, saying the situation would have been the same even if BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had been the finance minister.
Yadav said on Saturday, “The statement I had given two days back is the authorised statement of the party… The Congress and UPA are responsible for the deteriorating economic situation of the country. JD(U) support to UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is no indication of any rift in the NDA,” he added.
Nitish Kumar has been seen to have deliberately upped the ante recently to make it clear that he would leave the NDA if Narendra Modi was projected as the prime ministerial candidate by the BJP.
On Saturday, however, the CM held a closed-door meeting with party spokespersons and asked them not to make “irresponsible statements”. “Enough is enough and now let’s put a close to all this. We should now concentrate on our party’s programmes and policies,” the chief minister is learnt to have told party leaders present.
Meanwhile, the BJP also restrained its leaders. Senior BJP leader and road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav advised animal husbandry minister Giriraj Singh to adopt a restrained approach in his barbs against the CM and JD(U).
Singh has been publicly attacking Nitish over his ‘secular PM’ remarks and has questioned Nitish’s secular credentials instead.